ISSN 2398-2950      

Amputation: forequarter

ffelis
Contributor(s):

Laura Owen


Introduction

  • Amputation of the forelimb including the scapula.

Uses

  • Neoplasia distal to the scapula  Bone tumor: overview  Humerus: osteosarcoma - gross appearance .
  • Incapacitating neurological disease, eg brachial plexus avulsion Brachial plexus: avulsion.
  • Severe soft tissue damage, eg degloving injuries and ischemic necrosis.
  • Fractures/luxations where financial constraints preclude repair/reduction.
  • Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis unresponsive to appropriate and prolonged medical treatment.
  • Incapacitating congenital limb deformity.
    Print off the owner factsheet Caring for the amputee cat Caring for the amputee cat to give to your client.

Advantages

  • The procedure provides an acceptable 'salvage' option when no possibility of retention of a functional limb exists, due to failure of other treatments or due to the expected course of a neoplastic condition, and for patients where financial constraints preclude other treatment options.
  • Usually satisfactory long-term functional outcome.
  • Gives more cosmetic result than forelimb amputation by proximal humeral osteotomy  Amputation: thoracic limb.

Disadvantages

  • Some cat owners may find the appearance of their pet distressing, especially initially.
  • Cats may take a few weeks to adapt fully to the loss of a forelimb particularly with regard to jumping behavior.
  • Injury to another limb may subsequently be a more significant problem.
  • The patient may subsequently be more susceptible to blunt trauma of the chest wall.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Depends on the reasons for amputation.
  • If the primary disease is treated successfully, most cats cope very well with forequarter amputation.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Weigel J P (2003) Amputations. In: Textbook of Small Animal Surgery. Ed. Slatter, pp 2180-2190.

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